A: No, I don’t think God is going to be mad at you if you don’t read your Bible, but He is going to be sad, because He won’t have the opportunity to have fellowship with you through its pages and become your good friend.
Think of it like this. Suppose you want someone to be your friend (and they want to be your friend also), what do you have to do? You have to spend time with them — talking with them, listening to them, and just getting to know them. And in a far greater way, the same is true with God. He loves us and wants to be our friend, but that means we need to get to know Him by talking to Him and listening to Him.
That’s why the Bible is so important, for it is God’s written Word, given to us so we can listen to Him. In it He tells us about Himself, and also how He wants us to live. The Bible says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).
Don’t be intimidated by the Bible’s size, or by anything else about it. Instead, begin by reading a small part of it each day. Start, for example, with a few paragraphs from one of the Gospels, or from Psalms (and in a translation you can understand). Read it carefully, thoughtfully, and prayerfully, asking God to help you understand it and apply it to your life. God will bless you through it.
Q: How often should I pray? I try to pray every day, and I know I ought to, but sometimes I don’t get around to it because I’m preoccupied with other things. Maybe that’s wrong, but it’s the way I am. — P.L.B.
A: One of the Bible’s greatest truths is that God not only exists, but He actually wants to have a personal relationship with us. And prayer is one of the ways He’s given us to strengthen that relationship.
In other words, don’t look on prayer as a burden or obligation; instead, look on it as a privilege. Just imagine: The God who created the whole universe wants to welcome you into His presence — and that is exactly what happens when we pray! If Jesus felt the need to pray, how much more should we.
Remember: Prayer is possible because God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to tear down the barrier that exists between us and God — a barrier caused by our sin. Because of Christ’s death and resurrection for us, the Bible says, “we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand” (Romans 5:2).
Make sure of your commitment to Jesus Christ. Then thank Him that He loves you so much that He wants you to talk with Him through your prayers. Set aside time to pray every day — but in addition, learn to pray throughout the day, thanking God for the good things He brings into your life. Pray also when you (and others you know) are facing problems or decisions, for you need His help. The Bible says, “In everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).
Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit www.billygraham.org.